House To Vote On Confederate Flag Ban In VA Cemeteries

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Confederate flag at a cemeteryConfederate flag at a cemetery

The House will vote May 19 whether the Confederate flag should continue to be allowed in national cemeteries run by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The debate over whether to remove the flag from display in the cemeteries began almost a year ago after a mass shooting, which is believed to have been racially motivated, occurred in a black Charleston, South Carolina, church, The Hill reports.

Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman of California has introduced an amendment to the 2017 VA and military construction projects funding bill that would prohibit the large-scale display of the Confederate flag in VA cemeteries.

One such instance that would no longer be allowed is flying the flag over mass graves, but families would still be permitted to place small individual Confederate flags on graves for limited amounts of time, two days a year.

"My hope is they just step up and face it," Huffman said, referring to Republicans who oppose the amendment.

The vote is occurring one day after the House rejected a measure in a 181-243 vote to remove the Confederate flag from the Citadel military college in South Carolina, according to The Hill.

The Citadel is around two miles from the church where the mass-shooting took place.

"This objectionable banner, which has never been the official flag of the Confederacy, is a symbol of hate, racial oppression, resistance to the rule of law, and white supremacy," Assistant Minority Leader, Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, said on the House floor before the vote.

Huffman made similar remarks during a floor debate over the cemetery amendment, The Hill reports.

"Over 150 years ago, slavery was abolished. Why in the year 2016 are we still condoning displays of this hateful symbol on our sacred national cemeteries?" Huffman asked of House members.

Sources: The Hill (2) / Photo credit: Jamie/Flickr

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